Friday, February 10, 2012

Must Read for the Business Side of Writing

How to Write It
Second Edition
Subtitle: A complete guide to everything you’ll ever write
By Sandra E. Lamb
Ten Speed Press (2011)
ISBN: 9781607740322
Nonfiction/How-To (Writing)
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Publisher's Site:


The Business Part of Writing—Down and Dirty

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This Is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, Tracings, a chapbook of poetry and the How To Do It Frugally Series of book for authors

I wasn’t impressed by the title of How to Write It! It’s so general. And the subtitle? So all inclusive!  How could it be a guide to everything you’ll ever write?  And, truth be told, it isn’t. Not if you are a write of fiction. Or a poet. But even if you write those things, stop! Don’t go away. You’ll find in this book much that you need to know to build a successful writing career no matter what you write. And that was probably the intent of Author Sandra E. Lamb. She wants your writing career to soar. And this book will give you the tools to make sure it does.  At least the tools outside the box that might be labeled “craft.”

And here’s one more aspect of this very fat, very thorough volume. It has much in it that many books for writers don’t cover. I’m not sure why. Maybe “proposals and reports” and “orders, credit and collections” don’t have the sizzle that that creative hearts yearn for, but those hearts need to manage their careers, too.

So, don’t go off in a snit.  This book is an absolute must for freelance writers, but it is a darn good reference for writers of any ilk, especially those who don’t have a lot of business experience in those lives we often lead apart from our writing lives.  Hooray for Ten Speed Press for bringing this to our attention.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards.

Her book of creative nonfiction Harkening, won three. A UCLA Writers' Program

instructor, she also is the author of another book essential for writers,

USA Book News' Best Professional Book of 2004, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't. ( The second in the HowToDoItFrugally series, The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success ( covers writing successful query letters and includes helpful hints from twenty of the nation's top agents. Learn more about Howard-Johnson at her new site

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